Traditional Maya Ball Game
This past weekend I went to a local coffee finca to see a presentation of a traditional maya ball game - it was to benefit the organization ChocoGuateMaya.
The game is a combination of basketball, soccer and volleyball and dates back to at least 2500 B.C. It was the first sport in the history of humanity and central to the Maya religious beliefs. It is believed to be a reenactment of a myth where the Hero Twins had to battle the gods of death of the underworld by playing a ball game. The goal of the game was to pass the ball through the ring (top right picture) without using hands and feet - hips, thighs and forearms were allowed. It not only doesn't sound easy, it doesn't look easy, but I saw it with my own eyes.
There is disagreement as to whether the losers went to sacrifice and some even say the winners went to sacrifice. Neither sounds too appealing to me.